Beware Of Big Promises
There are numerous devices and products that are marketed as effective hair loss treatments, but many of them do not work. Beware of all of the false advertising associated with these products. If a cure for hair loss in women sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Before-and-after pictures may have been doctored to be misleading. How do you know if a hair loss treatment really works? Ask your dermatologist about any treatment you are considering. Look on the FDA and Federal Trade Commission websites to search for approved medical devices and drugs.
Is Hair Loss Normal
We all lose hair. Some hair loss is perfectly normal, as hair falls out after it completes the 2 to 6 year growth phase. You may notice loose hairs that have fallen out on your clothes or in your comb or hairbrush. The average person loses about 50 to 100 hairs per day. This is normal. What is not normal? Excessive hair loss in women may be apparent by the following: If your hair starts to fall out in clumps, especially when you brush or comb it or are in the shower, you should see your doctor. If you notice that you can see larger areas of your scalp or that your hair is thinning, see your dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment of your hair loss condition.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- What is the cause of my hair loss?
- How many strands of hair am I losing per day?
- What type of hair loss do I have?
- Will my hair loss be permanent?
- Whats the best treatment for me?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hair loss may cause you distress whether it happens because of genetics, a disease, or even stress. Know that there are some treatments you can try, and expert dermatologists are there to help you. Your hair loss may be able to be reversed. See your healthcare provider as soon as you notice something wrong because the sooner you start treatment, the better.
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Female Pattern Hair Loss
Pattern hair loss in women generally results in diffuse thinning on all areas of the scalp. Thinning will usually begin at the center part and gradually widen out, affecting the hair across the crown. However, some women can experience a combination of diffuse and distinct pattern hair loss.
Our doctors understand your frustration, and strive to provide considerate, effective, and personalized care to every patient.
What Can Go Wrong
Many factors can lead to hair loss. For example:
Hormones affect both the timing of the follicular phases and the health of the follicles. These can affect hair loss by:
- Delaying or preventing the resting follicles from beginning a new growth phase. Hair gradually becomes sparser as individual hairs fall out and take longer to be replaced. Eventually follicles might stop producing new hair altogether.
- Abruptly shifting a high percentage of follicles into the rest phase, leading to a lot of hair being shed some months later. This is a common occurrence in pregnancy. When hormones begin to normalize some weeks after delivery, the unusually high number of follicles that were resting suddenly shed their hairs in order to re-enter the growth phase.
- Hair typically returns to normal within a year or so.
- Interacting with genetics in a way that results in female pattern hair loss . During and after menopause, around 30% of women will develop FPHL as a result of normal changes to the balance of androgen and estrogen. Hair loss is first noticeable at the part and at the temples, but eventually hair coverage on the rest of the scalp can also become sparse.
- Triggering premenopausal FPHL along with excess body hair growth. Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome often have a high level of androgenic hormones. Androgenic hormones can cause hair thinning or loss in women prior to menopause. For more information, see Halzas article about PCOS
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Chemotherapy And Hair Loss
One of the most significant concerns for patients following a diagnosis of cancer is the side effect of losing their hair. For many, especially for those who have experienced a full, thick head of hair throughout their lifetime, the thought of losing it can be devastating. Chemotherapy treatment owes its effectiveness to a variety of powerful medications which are designed to quickly attack the compromised, cancerous cells. Unfortunately, in addition to treating cancer, the medications also attack the roots of your hair. This can cause the hair to fall out very quickly, even in large clumps, or gradually over time. Some of the most common medications leading to hair loss include:
How Is Abnormal Hair Loss Treated
Treatment depends on the cause of your hair loss. For example, any infection will be treated. If your medicines appear to be causing your hair loss, your doctor may stop them. Hair loss caused by a medical condition will stop when you recover from that medical condition. Deficiencies of either iron or vitamin B12 can be treated by your doctor. Alopecia areata itself is usually treated with corticosteroids, powerful anti-inflammation medicines. These are used as local injections, creams or tablets. A skin consultant will advise you about this treatment.
If you wish to slow or stop the progression of hair loss, there may be treatments available such as medicines or hair transplantation. The latter therapy does not have the custom generated some 30 years ago, partly because of its cost and the few practitioners of that art. There are over-the-counter products available, eg, Regaine, while doctors may prescribe minoxidil or finasteride in some cases.
Complementary and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and ultra-violet therapy, have been promoted by some health advocates. However, the evidence does not exist that these are effective options.
You may consider wearing a wig. Your doctor will help you find a source. See also information on the wigs and hairpieces subsidy.
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Pcos Can Be A Trigger
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in women in which the body manufactures more androgens, or male hormones, than it normally should. It is a potential cause of hormonal hair loss in women. Women who suffer from this condition may grow facial hair and extra body hair. One of the other symptoms of this condition is thinning of hair on the head. Women affected with PCOS may also experience weight gain, acne, menstrual irregularities, ovulation problems, depression, and infertility. Hair thinning may be the only outward sign that a woman is suffering from this condition.
Style Your Hair Right
Hair stylists are a great resource for help for hair loss in women. A new haircut or hairstyle may be just what you need to make your hair appear fuller. Ask your stylist for advice about getting a shorter cut, parting your hair in a different location, or adding curls or waves to add volume to your hair. Products for hair loss in women include using styling products designed for thin hair. Some products are added to the roots while hair is damp before blowing dry. Some cosmetic products can help disguise the appearance of bald spots. Keratin fiber hair cosmetics have a static charge that makes hair appear fuller than it is. Ask your stylist or dermatologist for recommendations about the products and strategies that will work best for you.
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Medication For Hair Loss
Minoxidil, or Rogaine, is a topical medication that is used to treat female pattern hair loss and male-pattern baldness. It was initially developed as a blood pressure medication and was used off-label to treat hair loss until it became FDA-approved for that purpose. Minoxidil can slow the progression of hair loss. Most women who use the medication experience regrowth of hair. The medication needs to be used continuously to maintain results. Other types of treatment work for different kinds of hair loss. Corticosteroids help suppress the immune response that damages hair follicles in people who have alopecia areata. Once the follicles recover, hair can grow back. If nutritional deficiencies underlie hair loss, eating a healthy diet with adequate and protein and nutrients can help you regrow hair. Certain medical problems may trigger hair loss. Adequately treating these conditions may help restore hair growth.
What Can I Do For Thinning Hair On The Top Of My Head
Determining the underlying cause for thinning hair is important. Cosmetic solutions and topical treatments are the main solutions for thinning hair on the top of the head. In the case of age-related hair thinning, consult with a dermatologist to learn more about topical treatments that stimulate hair regrowth.
Also Check: Does Pcos Cause Hair Loss
Male Pattern Hair Loss
In men, hair loss can begin any time after puberty and progress over the course of years or decades. It starts above the temples and continues around the perimeter and the top of the head, often leaving a ring of hair along the bottom of the scalp. Many men with male pattern hair loss eventually become bald.
What Is The Prognosis/outlook For Women With Hair Loss
Your diagnosis determines the prognosis:
- Anagen and telogen shedding may stop with time.
- Treat any diseases associated with hair loss.
- Disguise or cover your hair loss using a wig or hat.
- Early treatment of alopecia may reduce the speed of thinning and may promote regrowth.
While hair loss is not itself dangerous, women with hair loss tend to be very upset by the changes to their appearance. These negative feelings can affect self-esteem and social lives. Recent studies suggest that FPHL can be associated with conditions that include metabolic syndrome, endocrine disorders and diabetes.
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Treatment For Hair Loss
Most hair loss does not need treatment and is either:
- temporary and it’ll grow back
- a normal part of getting older
Hair loss caused by a medical condition usually stops or grows back once you’ve recovered.
There are things you can try if your hair loss is causing you distress. But most treatments are not available on the NHS, so you’ll have to pay for them.
No treatment is 100% effective.
You Have Low Iron Levels
The American Academy of Dermatology also says that not getting enough iron into your diet can lead to unwanted hair loss, too.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute , iron-deficiency anemia occurs when you don’t have enough iron in your bodythe symptoms of which include fatigue, tiredness, shortness of breath, or chest pain. To help remedy this, your doctor might suggest iron supplements or other healthy lifestyle choices, like increasing your intake of both iron- and vitamin-C rich foods.
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Childbirth May Be A Trigger
Moms-to-be are often very happy that their hair seems much fuller during pregnancy, but they are then disappointed when they experience hair loss after giving birth. Losing hair after pregnancy is not true hair loss and is normal. That’s because hormones and hair loss in women are linked. Hair falls out after women give birth due to decreasing estrogen levels. Some women notice that they lose a lot of hair in a short period of time after giving birth. The good news is that after this shedding period, hair fullness often returns to normal within 1 to 2 years. Many people wonder what’s the best treatment for hair loss in women? For postpartum moms waiting for their full head of hair to return, using over-the-counter volumizing shampoo and conditioner formulated for fine hair can make hair appear fuller.
Pcos And Other Endocrine Disorders
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that causes cysts to develop on the ovaries, involving hormonal imbalances, weight gain, missed periods and maybe even hair loss.
PCOS is an endocrine disorder. The endocrine system is responsible for hormone production, which are chemical signals that travel throughout the body to regulate a whole host of functions. Endocrine disorders can therefore cause a variety of health issues that are related to hormones, and PCOS often occurs alongside thyroid problems or disruptions to the immune system.
One study suggests that there is a strong connection between PCOS and female hair loss, most often resulting in thinning at the temples, thinning hair around the crown and diffuse thinning over the entire scalp.
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What Is Androgenetic Or Androgenic Alopecia
This type of alopecia is often attributed to genetic predisposition and family history. Androgenic alopecia appears in both men and women. The hair loss in men is often faster, earlier onset, and more extensive.
Doctors refer to common baldness as “androgenetic alopecia” or “androgenic alopecia,” which implies that a combination of hormones and heredity is necessary to develop the condition. The exact cause of this pattern is unknown.
Even men who never “go bald” thin out somewhat over the years. Unlike those with reversible telogen shedding, those with common male-pattern hair loss don’t notice much hair coming out they just see that it’s not there anymore. Adolescent boys notice some receding near the temples as their hairlines change from the straight-across boys’ pattern to the more “M-shaped” pattern of adult men. This normal development does not mean they are losing hair.
Some “myths” about male-pattern baldness
Living With Hair Loss
Losing your hair can be devastating. Many people consider a thick head of hair a symbol of youth and vitality. So losing it no matter how young you are can make you feel old. It can make you feel less attractive. It can lower your overall self-esteem.
Remember that it is okay to feel what youre feeling. It is also okay to seek out a strategy for stopping or even reversing hair loss. Wanting hair doesnt mean that you are vain. You should not feel guilty about doing something about your hair loss.
If adequate treatment is not available for your type of hair loss, you may consider trying different hairstyles or wigs, hairpieces, hair weaves or artificial hair replacement.
What Are The Myths About Hair Loss
Myths about hair loss are widespread. Nothing in the following list is true:
- Youre losing hair because you shampoo it too much, or because youve colored it or gotten a perm.
- Dandruff causes permanent hair loss in women.
- Stress causes permanent hair loss in women.
- If you shave your head, your hair will grow back twice as thick.
- If you stand on your head youll increase circulation, stimulating hair growth.
- If you brush your hair 100 strokes a day that will make your hair healthier.
- Hats and wigs cause hair loss in women.
- Hair loss only affects intellectual women.